Saturday, April 7, 2007

Bid Time Return VIII

56. EXT. OUTER EDGE (DAY)

Danstrop smacks a claw on the door control. The doors start to close but a Movellan steps in between them and effortlessly holds the doors closed. Lytton aims his rifle at the Movellan’s belt and fires. The power packs explodes. The Movellan’s gaze unfocusses as she staggers back, sways and collapses, allowing the doors to shut.

DANSTROP
Come on, come on, come on...

Another Movellan steps into the narrowing gap and tries to push the doors further apart. Lytton fires his rifle, but it does not activate. The Movellan enters and Danstrop shoots him down. Six more Movellans charge through. Lytton turns and runs for it. Danstrop looks at him disbelievingly, and is knocked over as a salvo causes an explosion. His blaster goes skidding across the floor.


57. INT. POWER CORE (DAY)

The Movellan continues to rip the weakened door apart. The Doctor and Peri watch on in horror as the Movellan clears a hole large enough for it to step through.

DOCTOR
Shall we try the other method I mentioned?

PERI
Just this once!

The Doctor turns and grabs the main lever and wrenches it downwards.


58. MONTAGE

The casino light display ignites like a mass of magnesium flares with a low roar of energy.

Several streets are lit up similarly.

Naraleen’s chamber has its own display, as does the White Heart bar, now each one blazing like a sun.

The Movellans looming over Danstrop whirl around as the glare washes over them.

The glare silhouettes the Movellan in the doorway of the Power Core.

Danstrop covers his eyes.

Silver City is now lit up like a Christmas Tree, a blazing glow cascading over the Movellan craft and the distorion.

The Doctor wrenches the main lever again.

The various light displays turn negative.

The Movellan ship starts to pulse positive and negative.

The crew inside are thrown to the floor.

Silver City continues to glow.

The displays explode, causing people to scream and run for cover.

The pulsing, shimmer Movellan ship simply evaporates.

The city goes dark.

The casino is plunged into darkness. The patrons continue to scream in the dark.

The Movellans collapse in a heap beside Danstrop.

In the docking bay, more Movellans collapse. Lian is the last to fall, a look of surprise on her synthetic face.

We slowly pan across the desert outside the city. There is no sign of the Movellan ship.



59. INT. POWER CORE (DAY)

The Movellan is slumped in the ruins of the door, blocking the doorway. The Doctor returns the lever to its former position and lets out a sigh. He takes out his hip flask and unscrews the top.

DOCTOR
There. That should do it.

PERI
We did it?

DOCTOR
Yes. I was only hoping to slow the expansion down, somewhere to region of a milimetre every few aeons, so the distortion wouldn’t reach the city before the universe ran out of hydrogen. But this... this good. As we intended, we cancelled out the distortion entirely – and everything in the immediate vacininity of the Drive and the Drive itself. Which means the Movellan ship no longer exists. Canceled out. Gone. Kaput.

He swigs from the flask.

PERI
So... so that’s the Movellans dead?

DOCTOR
Yes. Without the ship, they are totally cut off from the Network. Thus, their auto destruct programs have kicked in.

The Doctor crosses to the Movellan and pokes his padded shoulder. It caves in.

PERI
Nasty.

DOCTOR
Oh, not really. They won’t feel a thing. They never could. Which is part of the problem.

He takes another swig and then closes and pockets the flask.

DOCTOR
No, in a few hours, they’ll be a few puddles of non-toxic waste.

PERI
In the meantime, he’s still blocking the door. How do we get out?

DOCTOR
Use the other door of course.

The Doctor crosses the gantry and comes to an indentical doorway on the other side. Pressing the door control, it opens to reveal an identical staircase. Peri joins him.

PERI
So... we did it?

DOCTOR
Yes. We did it. But so many people are still dead, Peri.

PERI
Yeah. But so many people are still alive, remember? We saved the whole universe!

DOCTOR
Hmm. Is that supposed to balance it out?

Peri looks at him seriously.

PERI
No.

The Doctor smiles.

DOCTOR
Right answer. So, how does it feel to have rescued all of creation?

PERI
It’s getting predictable.

DOCTOR
Predictable? PREDICTABLE? How many times have we actually saved the entire universe?

PERI
Well, we stopped Mestor? And the Cyberman time invasion? And this makes three. And that’s not including all the things we stopped BEFORE they could endanger the universe. You don’t remember?

They start to climb the stairs out of view.

DOCTOR
Like you say, after a while it all gets very predictable...


60. INT. BAR (DAY)

All the decorations have blown up. Smoke wafts over the room. The patrons are wandering around, not sure what to do. The barman looks around, blinking hir huge eye.

PATRON
What just happened?

Alpha Centauri gives a trilling sigh and shrugs with all six arms.

ALPHA CENTAURI
Beats me. Who wants a drink? It’s the Festival, after all, isn’t it?


61. EXT. OUTER EDGE (DAY)

The Doctor and Peri emerge onto the concourse where the TARDIS is parked.

PERI
What about all the Movellan technology though?

DOCTOR
Oh, it’ll go the same way as the owners. In a few hours they’ll be useless as anything other as paperweights and doorstops. Danstrop and the others can help sort things out now, I’m sure.

They turn the corner and approach the TARDIS.

PERI
Where we heading to next?

The Doctor takes his key from his pocket and Lytton steps from behind the TARDIS, holding Danstrop’s Terileptil blaster.

LYTTON
It looks like I got here just in time. As ever.

DOCTOR
Lytton, my patience has worn rather thin this week. Now Peri and I are leaving and if you refuse to let her go, I will be forced to take VERY serious measures.

LYTTON
The idealistic drunk is willing to hurt me? I’m terrified.

He steps forward, grabs Peri’s arm and wrenches her towards him. He flips her round and holds her in front of him, in a headlock and with the blaster at her temple. He jabs the barrel into Peri’s forehead, making her cry out. The Doctor speaks chillingly softly, not taking his eyes from Lytton’s face.

DOCTOR
Release her, alive and intact, now. Or you won't live to regret it.

LYTTON
You don’t have the courage for that, Doctor.

DOCTOR
Don’t I?

LYTTON
No. No matter what face you wear, or planet you visit, it’s always the same. Your lack of courage, your crippling morality gets in the way. Blame me for the slaughter the Daleks and Cybermen carried out – but you’re the one who didn’t stop them. Now, I’ve got your companion, I’ve got your TARDIS and I’ve got you.

The Doctor looks aghast.

DOCTOR
But, Commander Lytton, I have the one thing you never have.

LYTTON
And what might that be?

DOCTOR
Friends.

The Doctor smiles triumphantly and there is the loud buzz of a Movellan sidearm. Lyttons eyes widen, then roll up into his head. His grip slackens, releasing Peri and the bayonet as he sprawls, lifeless to the ground. Behind him stands Danstrop, holding a Movellan sidearm trained on Lytton.

DOCTOR
Thank you, Danstrop.

DANSTROP
No hassle.

Peri rubs her neck and looks down at Lytton’s body.

PERI
Is he alive?

DANSTROP
Fraid so. I don’t know how to set this higher than stun. I can kill him if you like.

The Doctor rubs his eyes, tired.

DOCTOR
Don’t. He’s not worth it.

DANSTROP
OK.

Peri turns and kicks Lytton in the gut.

DOCTOR
Peri!

PERI
I’m not perfect, Doctor. I get angry when people try to kill me. Deal with it. What now?

DOCTOR
We leave. I’ve had enough of Silver City hospitality to last me several regenerations.

DANSTROP
And him?

The Doctor looks down at Lytton’s body.

DOCTOR
I have one or two ideas.

We stay on Lytton’s unconscious face. Dissolve to:


62. INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM (DAY)

Lytton lying in the same position. We hear the distant sound of the TARDIS landing then the console chiming. The Doctor nudges Lytton’s body with his shoe.

DOCTOR
Welcome back from the abyss, Commander.

Lytton looks around. The Doctor stands beside him, aiming the Movellan side arm at his head. Peri stands to one side of the console. The time rotor is at rest.

LYTTON
You should have killed me.

DOCTOR
Who says I won’t? Get up. Now.

Lytton does so.

LYTTON
Do you want me to beg for my life?

DOCTOR
It isn’t worth begging for.

LYTTON
I disagree. However, I doubt there’s anything I can offer you in return.

DOCTOR
No.

LYTTON
I didn’t think so. But if you were going to kill me... not that I believe you are... why drag me aboard your TARDIS to do it.

DOCTOR
Maybe I’m insane?

LYTTON
Maybe you are. I heard it was impossible to harmed while in a TARDIS.

DOCTOR
It is. But then, my TARDIS is an old model. Do you want to risk it?

LYTTON
What’s the alternative?

The Doctor, keeping the gun trained on Lytton, reaches out and hauls the door control. They whirr open. The Doctor waves to the portal with the gun.

DOCTOR
Move.

LYTTON
Or you’ll overcome your notorious repugnance of violence and fire?

DOCTOR
That sums it up rather well.

Lytton has a look of resignation on his face but he turns and walks through the doors. The Doctor follows him, while Peri stays where she is.


63. INT. CAVE BASE (DAY)

As it was in the flashback, but it is deserted bar the TARDIS standing in the corner. The doors open and Lytton emerges, hands raised, followed by the Doctor, still holding the sidearm. Lytton looks round, suspicious.

DOCTOR
Well. Here we are. Where you’ve been struggling to get to for the past two years. All those lives you’ve snuffed out, the ruination, was it all worth it?

LYTTON
Yes.

He says it knowing how much it will annoy the Doctor.

DOCTOR
Well, now you’re here. It’s precisely the spot according to the coordinates you fed into the SlipBack Drive. Good thing I remembered them, isn’t it?

LYTTON
How do I know this isn’t some trap?

DOCTOR
What? Dump you on some out of the way planet millennia from anyone? Is that what you think? If I did that, you’d just try and get home again. More death for the unfortunates who get in the way. No, this is the genuine oyster. Star system 6-9-0, the fifth satellite of Vita 15. Riften 5, Home of the Charnel House.

LYTTON
Your TARDIS is not exactly a reliable form of transport.

The Doctor waves to the computer with the sidearm.

DOCTOR
Best check for yourself then.

Keeping a cautious eye on the Doctor, Lytton crosses to the computer.

LYTTON
Computer. State precise current time and date and verify identity.

COMPUTER
Time is fifty six minutes past the thirteenth hour, thirteenth day, fourth month, year 4595. Voice and face print recognized as Junior Warrior Gustave Lytton.

DOCTOR
There. Two years after you left, keeping you in sych with your timestream. Satisfied?

LYTTON
Completely.

He turns to face the Doctor and spreads his hands.

LYTTON
I suppose you expect gratitude, Doctor?

DOCTOR
I’m not THAT na├»ve. Goodbye and good riddance, Lytton. It hasn’t been pleasant.

The Doctor, not taking his eyes on Lytton, steps back into the TARDIS.

DOCTOR
Souvenir.

He throws the sidearm onto the floor and closes the door. Moments later it dematerializes. Lytton smiles dryly, crossing to the sidearm to pick it up. He looks it over for a moment then turns to the computer as the sound fades away.

LYTTON
Computer, current status of Charnel House League?

COMPUTER
Status negative.

LYTTON
Negative? Explain.

COMPUTER
Charnel League no longer in existence as of forty five minutes past the sixth hour, first day, fourth month, year 4595.

Lytton is totally shocked at the idea. It’s ridiculous.

LYTTON
Two weeks ago?! What happened?

COMPUTER
Intense internal conflict caused by unknown alien pathogen in atmosphere. Airborne pathogen self eliminated as of fourteenth hour, first day, fourth month, year 4955. Virus symptoms include psychotic violence, suicidal insanity and fatal neural collapse.

Lytton’s expression darkens.

LYTTON
Who sent the virus? What caused it?

COMPUTER
No knowledge, cannot answer.

LYTTON
How many survivors?

COMPUTER
One.

Lytton’s face falls.

LYTTON
Just one?

COMPUTER
Confirmed.

Lytton collects himself.

LYTTON
Well, who is it?

COMPUTER
Junior Warrior Gustave Lytton...

Lytton sways, as if unsteady on his feet. He shakes his head, closing his eyes.

COMPUTER
...last recorded trace in year 4593, seconded to mercenary Dalek Taskforce under command of Overseer Loathos Kiston...

He turns and looks at the spot the TARDIS stood. Lytton sighs.

COMPUTER
...presumed killed the destruction of prison barge Cassius Four at twenty-nine minutes past the nineteenth hour, fifteenth day, second month, year 4593.

He turns and unhurriedly stumbles for the exit.

COMPUTER
Details of posthumous honors to Junior Warrior Gustave Lytton available in archive...


64. EXT. HILLSIDE (DAY)

It’s just like in the flashbacks, except silent bar the sound of the wind. Lytton steps wearily into the sunshine and looks around sadly.


65. MODEL SHOT

We see the Charnal House and the surrounding woods. But the trees are dead twigs with no vegetation. The clock tower is fractured and lies sprawled on its side next to the shattered remains of the complex. The bridges and walkways are shattered and end abruptly, and the rusted hulks of the League Ships are dumped randomly around the landing pad. We see the clock tower has stopped.


66. EXT. HILLSIDE (DAY)

We zoom back from the weary Lytton standing in the ashes. His voice carries and echoes.

LYTTON
No survivors. No anything...

We zoom out further, until he is just a dot against the barren landscape. We can still hear him quite well.

LYTTON
Just me.

We zoom out further, dissolving to:


67. MODEL SHOT

The moon dwindling against the gas giant. The TARDIS slowly rotates as it drifts away from the planetoid.


68. INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM (DAY)

Peri looks at the scanner as shrinks into the distance. The Doctor leans against the console, looking sad.

PERI
So we won’t be seeing him again?

DOCTOR
He’s in his home time zone now, it’s all he wanted.

He reaches into his pocket for his hip flask and stares at it for a while.

DOCTOR
You’re right. This isn’t doing me any good.

PERI
You OK?

DOCTOR
I’m not sure any more.

He wanders over to a waste paper bin by the external doors.

DOCTOR
900 years and I’m not sure. What does that say about me, hmmm? And can you tell me, Peri, why I still can’t get to sleep? I just see him, that hatred, it chills me to my feet. He was a mass-murdering psychopathic dictator... but he never betrayed his friends. I can still hear him screaming at me.

He drops the flask in the bin.

DOCTOR
Can you tell me what that means?

PERI
You miss him, don’t you?

DOCTOR
I just keep wondering... if he had stayed on Gallifrey, if we hadn’t both left, where would we be now. If I gave him a chance back then, when it counted, things would have turned out different, maybe even better. Back on Gallifrey, before Azmael, before Morbius, back before people accepted TARDIS as an acronym...

PERI
What was it like?

DOCTOR
Oh, dull, boring, tedious, you don’t need to hear it.

He wanders over to the console.

PERI
Try me.

DOCTOR
It was quiet. A lazy Sunday afternoon of childhood that went on for centuries. We spent days just looking into the space time vortex or going for walks in the countryside, fields and forests, looking up at the stars. First time we really spoke to each other, he helped me out – I had a pet hidden under my dormitory bed, very secret, except it got lonely and started singing a mating song. I helped him out with his telepathy homework, and he taught me a few tips on hypnosis. One time, we played truant and went to a Shoboogan tavern, we got totally drunk and he picked a fight with the barman and the barman’s six biggest friends. He was so confident, he’d finally come top of the class the day before, came out ahead of the rest of the class, even me. He thought he could do anything, even take on some of the most violent beings on the planet!

Peri starts to smile at the Doctor’s more cheerful tone.

PERI
So what did you do?

DOCTOR
We ran for our lives, Peri, and eventually handed over all our drinking money when they finally caught us! We were penniless for weeks and couldn’t tell anyone!

The Doctor laughs and moves around the console, adjusting controls.

DOCTOR
Hah! Those were the days, Peri! We actually managed to put one of our teachers into a time loop – the poor chap taught the same lesson all day and never noticed it! And we formed a band, Peri, a real band! The Gallifrey Academy Hot Five... dissolved due to creative differences the next day, but for those few hours we were bigger than Omega! I played lead perigosto stick, the Master played drums and the Rani was the vocals!


69. MODEL SHOT

The TARDIS spins away, we heard the voices of the Doctor and Peri echoing, getting fainter and fainter as the police box dwindles off into the depths of space.

DOCTOR (VO)
He tried to cheer us up by holding the end of term party, second worst party I’d ever experienced.

PERI (VO)
What was the worst?

DOCTOR (VO)
The one I threw the next week to show him how it was done! And one time...


(END OF BID TIME RETURN)
(NEXT EPISODE: THE TOMB IN SPACE)
(ROLL END CREDITS)

No comments: